President-elect Donald J. Trump’s pick for chief of staff on Sunday reiterated Trump’s pledge to temporarily suspend immigration from certain countries until an enhanced vetting system is in place -- what Trump called “extreme vetting” in an August speech. Any suspension in immigration could potentially have impacts on incoming students and scholars.
“What President-elect Trump has said is that where systematic terrorism is taking place, where countries are harboring or in places where countries are harboring and training terrorists, we're going to temporarily suspend that immigration from that country or region until a better vetting system is put in place,” the incoming chief of staff, Reince Priebus, said on CNN’s State of the Union. Priebus was responding to a question from host Jake Tapper about a February tweet by Trump’s choice for national security adviser, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, that said, “Fear of Muslims is rational.”
“President-elect Trump's opinion is that there are some people within that particular religion that are -- that we do fear," Priebus said. "But he also has made it very clear that we don't believe in religious tests and that we are not blanketly [sic] judging an entire religion, but, in fact, we will try to pinpoint the problems and temporarily suspend those areas from -- in coming into the United States until a better vetting system is in place. That's what we're going to do. That's what the president-elect believes."
In December, Trump called for a temporary ban on all Muslims entering the U.S. “until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on” after terror attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif.